Mannerism, Baroque, and Rococo - High Point Regional School

El Greco
El Greco, Baptism of Christ
1608-14 (210 Kb); Oil on canvas
Italian artist Jacopo da Pontormo’s
Deposition (1525-1528, Church of
Santa Felicitá, Florence, Italy)
shows the characteristics of the
Mannerist style. The arrangement
of the figures creates a sense of
swirling movement and helps
convey the emotionally charged
atmosphere while the body of Jesus
Christ is brought down from the
cross and presented to his mother
Mary. The elongated bodies and
unnatural compression of space
between the figures are also typical
of Mannerism.
Scala/Art Resource, NY
Descent from the Cross
In Descent from the Cross
(1521, Pinacoteca Comunale,
Volterra, Italy), Italian painter
Rosso Fiorentino intentionally
created a disturbing scenario.
In this and other of his early
paintings Rosso departed from
the milder conventions of
traditional classicism and High
Renaissance art. In doing so he
helped launch the style known
as Mannerism in 16th-century
Italy, in which artists created
exaggerated scenes with
attenuated figures and
disturbing colors.
Scala/Art Resource, NY
Gianlorenzo Bernini's "Ecstasy of St. Teresa" (1647-52),
in Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome. Marble, 11' 6" high
"Beside me on the left appeared an angel in bodily form . . . He was not tall but short, and very beautiful; and his
face was so aflame that he appeared to be one of the highest ranks of angels, who seem to be all on fire . . . In his
hands I saw a great golden spear, and at the iron tip there appeared to be a point of fire. This he plunged into my
heart several times so that it penetrated my entrails. When he pulled it out I felt that he took them with it, and left
me utterly consumed by the great love of God. The pain was so severe that it made me utter several moans. The
sweetness caused by this intense pain is so extreme that one can not possibly wish it to cease, nor is one's soul
content with anything but God. This is not a physical but a spiritual pain, though the body has some share in it -even a considerable share." (Teresa of Avila, Autobiography,
ch. 29).
contemplating a bust
of Homer
1653 (90 Kb); Oil on
Peter Paul Rubens.
The Three Graces.
1628-1630. Oil on canvas.
Charities (called in Latin Graces) ancient Greek
divines for beauty, grace and artistic inspiration,
and perhaps also, in their earliest form, of
powers of vegetation. They are generally said to
be tree sisters called Euphrosyne, Thalia and
Aglaea. Their father was Zeus, mother either
Eurynome, or Hera. They are usually depicted
as naked girls embracing at each other.
Artist - Johannes Vermeer
oil on canvas
18 1/4 x 15 3/4 in.
"It is always the beauty of this
portrait head, its purity, freshness,
radiance, sensuality that is singled
out for comment. Vermeer himself, as
Gowing notes, provides the
metaphor: she is like a pearl. Yet
there is a sense in which this
response, no matter how inevitable,
begs the question of the painting, and
evades the claims it makes on the
viewer. For to look at it is to be
implicated in a relationship so urgent
that to take an instinctive step
backward into aesthetic appreciation
would seem in this case a defensive ,
an act of betrayal and bad faith. It is
me at whom she gazes, with real,
unguarded human emotions, and with
an erotic intensity that demands
something just as real and human in
return. The relationship may be only
with an image, yet it involves all that
art is supposed to keep at bay."
Edward A. Snow, , 1979
Outside Italy, one of the two principal
centers of Florid Baroque painting was the
studio of Diego Velazquez in Spain. His
work owes much to the tradition of
Caravaggio but without the intense
drama. Velazquez, too, made
conspicuous use of chaiaroscuro, but he
avoided the extreme contrasts that made
Caravaggio’s paintings controversial.
Velazquez. The Maids of Honor.
Madrid. 1656. Oil on canvas, 10 feet, 5 inches x
9 feet
His greatest work is this group
portrait of the princess with her maids of
honor, painted while he was official artist
to the Spanish court. The fascination with
illusion and with the effects of light and
dark reveals Velazquez’s links with the
Florid Baroque. Are the subjects looking
at the viewer, or at the artist in a
mirror? Or, are they greeting the king and
queen, who have just entered the room
(as seen through another mirror on the
rear wall)?
The Chariot of Aurora
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
(Italian, Venetian, 1696–1770)
Aurora is shown in her chariot,
accompanied by the Hours and
heralded by Apollo; Time is shown
on the right. Also recognizable are
Ceres, with a sheaf of wheat, and
Bacchus, wearing a crown of vine
leaves—emblematic of summer and
This beautiful oil sketch was
possibly a proposal by Tiepolo for
the decoration of a ceiling in the
Royal Palace in Madrid. Tiepolo had
been summoned to Spain in 1762
by Charles III to paint the ceiling of
the throne room, and upon
completion of this vast fresco he
made proposals for the decoration
of other rooms; a ceiling of this
theme was painted in the queen's
bedroom in 1763 by Tiepolo's rival,
Anton Raphael Mengs.
François Boucher (French, 1703-1770) Allegory of Music, 1752 Oil on canvas, 26 1/2 x 30 in.
Jean Honore Fragonard
The Swing